Chesternest is named after the apartment home where my wife Deirdre and I grew our family from one child to three. We called our apartment 'The Chesternest' because of its location in Manchester, NH as well as the fact that Deirdre was in 'nesting' mode when we moved in, as we were expecting our second child. Being on the second floor of a three-family home, we felt "nestled" into our spot above a street where we came to make many friends and share a beautiful season of our life.
That home, which we left this past spring, was filled with happy memories including the more than three years of my drawing and painting training under Paul Ingbretson, many hours spent playing with our little ones, and hours of friendship and parties with other families from the neighborhood. It was our cozy nook for a young family in a small city.
I hope this painting communicates some of that feeling.
Among the elegant ceramics and delicate dried hydrangea blossoms, a small porcelain bluebird is making its nest inside a stacked teacup. The blue and red-browns and yellows that predominate this painting have an air of calm and quiet about them. They are subtle rather than loud. There is a sense of stillness and perhaps even distance about this still life that I hope will remind the viewer of the peace of a home. The blue china cups and plates that are stacked and scattered throughout the painting are actually from the set of dishes we used as a family on a daily basis for our meals, and are artifacts weighed down with the memories and happiness of those days for me.
Information for collectors: Please see further details about Chesternest on the Still Life page.
This painting began with a focus on the lovely designs, shapes, and colors of the blue porcelain pieces. I loved the icy, wintery feel the colors have and the ornate patterns reminded me both of the patterns ice and frost can make as well as the festive decorations surrounding the Christmas season. I loved playing with the balance of seeing these beautiful blue details and also letting them fade back and not be seen.
I knew that I needed a great red to complement the blue but I was not so sure about a yellow and not decided about how much red to incorporate. I had tried a number of things in the studio but wasn't particularly excited about any of my solutions. Finally, I was out driving with my family on a cold day and I noticed a beautiful winter landscape that immediately called to mind my blue porcelain -- and behind it was a soft, bright yellow-pink-gray. At that moment I knew the the same yellow-pink-gray of that sky would complete my color scheme for this work and the painting developed from there.
Here is the final product -- what evolved from 'Blue Porcelain' through 'A Wintery Landscape' ...to 'Blue Winter Porcelain.'
This painting is now available to collectors. Please click here for more information and feel free to contact us to discuss a purchase.
Hello there, I'm John H. Folley. Thanks for visiting the JHF Art Blog, where it's my job to help you become a more discerning art appreciator. Here you'll find updates on my art and activities and some of my art philosophy. You'll also hear occasionally from my wife, artist Deirdre M. Folley. Peace!
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